Posted on Sep 13, 2016

Digital Mobile Radio (DMR) Explained

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Why migrate to Digital? Read our Digital Mobile Radio (DMR) explained blog to find out why

Digital Mobile Radio (DMR) Explained

DMR is an open digital mobile radio standard, which has been defined in the European Telecommunications Standards Institute or in other terms; ETSI.

This standard was introduced into the radio world in order to replace analogue and also to define a digital standard for professional, personal or private mobile radios – also known as PMR. This is the established acronym for any other type of radio communication that isn’t a mobile phone!

DMR was given the official stamp of approval in 2005, when manufacturers and users of radio systems acknowledged that the current trunking standards – a method for a system to provide network access to many users by sharing a set of lines or frequencies (imagine a tree trunk with multiple branches and there you have it) needed a little modern-day tweaking in order to improve upon certain areas.

Now, to bring this slightly back to basics, it’s important to understand which users the DMR standard is looking to benefit. Those who were looking at this digital development established that these users can be broken down into three main categories, which subsequently fit with the three differing tiers within the DMR standard:

Domestic Industrial users

This covers personal and recreational users; requiring low cost but efficient communications over a limited range.

Professional users of Industries requiring a mobile workforce.

This can include areas such as construction, energy and manufacturing, where the use of communication is needed for multiple sites or over a larger region.

Emergency Services

Not only do these users require efficient and trustworthy communication devices, but also ones which are at the height of security, as this is essential to the user.

Now to look at the three tiers…

Tier I (unlicensed)

Specifies short range licence-free low power operation, making this ideal for domestic industrial users.

Tier II (licensed conventional)

Offering peer-to-peer and repeater mode for the professional market, such as industries with mobile workforces.

Tier III (licensed trunked)

Adding full digital trunking operation to the Tier II capacity, whereby any available radio channels can be shared amongst users with more efficiency. For example, paramedics and the police force.

So, what are the advantages that DMR is able to provide the user with?

Open Standard & Interoperability

DMR is an open standard, meaning that it is not proprietary to any leading manufacturer and therefore, possesses the ability to have interoperability across brands.

Enter various options and competitive pricing!

Higher data capability 

A significant benefit of the digital standard is its integrated voice and data capabilities. Apps such as SCADA and GPS broaden DMR two-way radios way beyond voice communications, which is oh so important in today’s modern working world.

Improved voice quality & coverage

DMR will give the user clearer sound quality as opposed to its analogue counterpart, which picks up every single background noise.

Not only this, but an analogue signal will gradually weaken the further it is removed from its site. This isn’t the case with digital signal. The audio will remain clear all the way to the edge of its coverage – pretty impressive, huh?

Reinforced security

Communications stay much more private, due to the fact that the radios exchange a key with the system, preceding its operation. This essentially makes it more difficult to listen in. This is particularly important when looking at areas such as the emergency services.

Improved battery life

DMR has longer battery life because the transmitter of the radio is only in use half the time when compared to narrowband analogue radio. This is really key, as one of the biggest challenges faced with portable devices is the battery length.

Find out more about our Two-Way Radios.


This article was originally published here.